Hip-hop star Dr Dre has lost a long-running trademark dispute against a gynaecologist with a similar name.The rapper and record label boss lodged a case with the US trademark office in 2015 after Pennsylvania-based gynaecologist Draion M Burch tried to trademark the name Dr Drai. Dre objected, saying the similarity of their assumed names would cause “confusion”, especially since the doctor wanted to sell audio books and seminars under the moniker. But the US trademark office has disagreed and dismissed Dr Dre’s case.
In a ruling made last week, it said that, while the two names were similar, Dr Dre had failed to show that people would be misled into buying by Dr Drai’s products. Given that the doctor’s typical fee for a speaking engagement is $5,000, the consumer would be likely to exercise a “higher degree of care” in their research of their purchase than someone making a casual purchase.
There’s also the fact that
Dr Dre is not a medical doctor
Therefore, Mr Burch made the argument that consumers would be unlikely to confuse the two names “because Dr Dre is not a medical doctor nor is he qualified to provide any type of medical services or sell products specifically in the medical or healthcare industry”. He further testified that he did not seek to trade on Dr Dre’s reputation because the association would be “a bad reflection on me as a doctor” – citing lyrics he characterised as misogynistic and homophobic.
‘The Chronic’ hit-maker, and hip hop mogul failed to show how Dr. Drai’s branding and products would mislead consumers into buying his products.
The gynaecologist is the author of books such as 20 Things You May Not Know About A Vagina and describes himself as one of America’s top health experts. Dr Dre can currently be seen in the Netflix documentary The Defiant Ones, which charts his rise from the streets of Compton to the multi-millionaire executive in charge of Beats 1.